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The Community 
Resource Kit 

Guidance for people setting up and 
running community organisations 

Te Tari Taiwhenua 

Section 1 

Getting started 


Section 1 

Getting started 

Section 2 


Section 3 

Organisational structures 

Section 4 


Section 5 


Section 6 


Section 7 

Financial management 

Section 8 


Section 9 

Raising funds 

Section 10: Employment 

Section 1 1 : Communications 

Section 12: Information technology 


1 Community and voluntary groups in NZ 


Words used 

Culture and values 

Historical background 

Maori community organisations 

The community-government relationship 

Community networks 

Stages of development 
Getting started 

You have an idea 
Do some research 
Do some planning 

6 Where to go for more information 

Online resources 

Community and voluntary groups in NZ 


There are about 97,000 non-government organisations (NGOs) in New Zealand, from 
registered incorporated societies and charitable trusts to informal groups. Nearly half are in 
culture, sport and recreation, followed by social services (12 per cent) and religion 
(10 percent). 

Ninety per cent of New Zealand non-profit organisations rely solely on volunteer labour and 
the rest employ over 100,000 paid staff. For the size of its population, New Zealand has 
one of the largest non-profit sectors in the world, representing an industry of $NZ9.9 billion 
annually (Statistics NZ 2007). 

Words used 

'Community groups' or 'NGO' (non-governmental organisation), 'not-for-profit' or 'non- 
profit organisations' can be sports clubs, social service organisations, social clubs, marae 
committees, environmental lobby groups and charitable trusts. 

Community groups have five distinguishing features: 

they have some organisational structure 

they are 'non-profit' 

they are independent of government, although they might get funds from government 

they are self-governing, and 

they are non-compulsory. 

Terms such as 'government', 'private', 'community and voluntary' and 'household' might 
not align with the kin-based structures of whanau, hapu and iwi or possibly to other 
ethnic groups in New Zealand. Communities and Government Potential for Partnership: 
Whakatapu Whakaaro 

Culture and values 

Community sector organisations have distinguishing characteristics. 

Community groups almost always: 

are values-focused and mission-focused with core beliefs reflected in their purpose, 

programmes and activities 

take into account ambiguous ownership with multiple interest groups and stakeholders 

• are voluntary 

have group values consistent with the values of the individuals within the group 

• are indirectly funded, and 
are interdependent. 

Community groups and organisations also: 

are often flexible and innovative 
promote volunteer citizen participation 
contribute to building strong communities, and 
meet needs not met by government. 

Community Resource Kit Section 1 : Getting started 1 

Historical background 

Society in pre-European New Zealand was organised in well-defined structures of 
whanau and hapu. 'Participation by Maori, in Maori or iwi-based organisations, is not 
generally seen as a voluntary activity. It is a manifestation of a set of cultural obligations that 
are required to maintain cultural values and reflect priorities established at a group level.' 

European society maintained a distinction between 'government', 'private' (or market), 
'community' and 'household' sectors. European settlement brought church-related 
community organisations, including in the late 19th century, the Women's Christian 
Temperance Union (1885), which lobbied for women's suffrage. National welfare, health 
and disability organisations founded at this time include The Jubilee Institute for the Blind, 
now the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, and the Plunket Society. These 
organisations entered into funding arrangements with government as separate institutions. 

Voluntary welfare services continued to advocate for and provide services to the people they 
represented, funded by a mix of private donations, fundraising activities and government 
subsidies. The late 1 930s to the early 1 980s saw social and workplace reform and a 
broadening of New Zealand's social security system. Voluntary organisations continued 
to complement government services as government provided health and welfare services. 
Most state funding for community groups was done through a system of grants and 
subsidies not usually attached to specific services. 

A number of prominent social support organisations, such as the New Zealand Playcentre 
Federation, Family Planning, Crippled Children Society, Intellectually Handicapped 
Children's Parents' Association (later IHC New Zealand) and the Cancer Society of New 
Zealand were established and received the bulk of government funding for community 
groups. In the late 20th century new local community groups and national organisations 
included a range of women's groups, providing support and consciousness-raising as well 
as some services. Other political and activist groups focused on the environment, nuclear 
testing, apartheid and sporting tours, domestic racism and sexism. 

At a national level, the New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations 
(NZFVWO) was established in 1 969 and the New Zealand Council of Social Services 
(NZCOSS) in 1975. Both organisations continue to provide national leadership on common 
issues while retaining and extending links to local networks of community organisations 
involved in a wide range of social service provision and advocacy. 

Community Resource Kit Section 1 : Getting started 2 

Maori community organisations 

A number of cross-iwi movements, most aiming to promote Maori identity, were developed 
in response to European colonisation. These groups included Maori clubs, councils, 
welfare committees and wardens, youth and church groups. The Maori Women's Welfare 
League was established at a national level in 1951 and has been a significant community 
organisation ever since. The Maori Community Development Act 1962 established a range 
of Maori associations - the New Zealand Maori Council, district Maori councils, Maori 
committees and Maori wardens, statutory organisations with some delegated statutory 
powers, making a significant contribution to the Maori community sector. 

The community-government relationship 

The Community Sector Taskforce is an independent body of five tangata Tiriti and five 
tangata whenua community people. It was established in 2003 and mandated to continue 
the work developed by the joint community sector and government working parties 
(2000-2002) to develop the relationship between government and the sector http://www. 
est. org. nz/ . 

The Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (OCVS) was established in September 
2003 to strengthen the relationship between government and the community sector. Its 
key functions are to provide cross-sectoral policy development and advice, and to act as 
a contact point for community, voluntary and tangata whenua organisations at the national 
level . 

The Charities Commission was established in 2005 to provide greater accountability 
and transparency in the community and voluntary sector by registering and monitoring 
charities in accordance with the Charities Act. The Commission also provides support and 
education on good governance and management . 

Community Resource Kit Section 1 : Getting started 3 

Community networks 

Community groups rarely operate in isolation. Sometimes by working together, groups can 
reach their goals by sharing information and resources and developing networks. A strong, 
inclusive community sector includes local, regional, national, whanau, hapu and iwi. 

Stages of development 

Community groups go through stages of development. Many remain small and volunteer- 
based while others develop quickly into large and organisationally sophisticated groups. 


Typical characteristics 

Matters to consider 

Starting out 

• often led by a visionary and/or 

where does this fit with other 

One person or 

strong, entrepreneurial person 

things that are going on in 

a small group, 
passionate about 
a particular issue 
and wanting to do 

high ideals - often not clear 

the community? 
clarification of/agreeing on 
purpose of the group 


generally operates as a 

what structure best suits the 


committee or collective 


Small group 

• the work of the group is done by 

getting organised 

committed to 
making something 

the group members (generally 

assigning roles 

agreeing on what needs to 

minimal financial structures 

be done (not just the 'high 

- often group member 


contributions, perhaps small 
grant, such as COGS 

establishing systems 


the group inevitably faces 

establishing good 

An organisation 


organisational processes 

can outgrow its 
volunteer structure 

• some members often do the 
bulk of the work, leading to 

setting up governance, 
management and reporting 

resentment and tension 


• the loose, voluntary structure 

increased financial, legal and 

is replaced by a more formal, 

employment responsibilities 

structured committee or board 

maintaining external 

a co-ordinator, administrator or 


chief executive may be employed 

to do the tasks delegated by the 


applying for funding to support 

the organisation's increased 


Community Resource Kit 

Section 1 : Getting started 4 


Group is 
functioning well 

systems and structures are 


generally a separation of 

governance and management 


employs staff 

ongoing evaluation of the group's 

effectiveness and relevance. 

challenge of keeping 
relevant (or getting stale) 
learning/reflective practice 
avoiding a loss of passion 
Pusiness management 
responsiPilities - financial, 
employment, premises, 
assets, contract 
management, etc. 


Work is done or 

things change, either externally 
(in the community) or within the 
group to indicate that it is time to 
wind up 

some groups may reinvent 
themselves with a different focus 
rather than winding up 
others might limp on, resisting 
dissolution, although they could 
Pe increasingly irrelevant to the 

evaluation - at Poth group 
and personal levels 
dealing with grief - some 
memPers might not want to 
• celePration 
tidying up and moving on. 

Getting started 
You have an idea 

Most projects start off as an idea for dealing with a particular issue in a community. The 
individual or group sees a need, finds that something they want is not availaPle or discovers 
there are resources availaPle that could Pe used Py the community. 

Do some research 

Check out the idea with friends and relations, people in the community and anyone who 
might Pe affected Py the initiative. 

• Who else is doing something aPout your issues, or something similar? Can you work with 
them rather than setting up another community group? 

Is your idea/issue identified in other community planning exercises? Check the Long- 
Term Plan of Auckland Council or Long-Term Council Community Plan of other Territorial 
Authorities as well as the Ministry of Social Development's Local Services Mapping (LSM) 
and the local authorities Community Outcomes Processes (COPs). 
Look at the statistics and demographics - do they support the need for a new service? 

• Check with local councils, central government agencies, iwi, hapu and other community 
networks and community leaders. 

Tip: Listen and take into account differing and opposing views - that's consultation. It's 
easy to find support for an idea you are passionate about, but don't be lured into a false 
sense of support because the people you know tell you to go for it! 

Community Resource Kit 

Section 1 : Getting started 5 

Do some planning 

Be clear about the five 'W's and an 'H'; 

why you want to do something 
what you want to do 

• where you plan to operate from and in which area of the community 
when you are going to do it 

• who will be affected, who will be involved, who needs to know, and 

• how you intend to make this happen — how your group will operate. 

Set some ground rules, which might develop into a constitution. Consider which is the best 
legal structure to use. How realistic is it to set up and maintain a new community group? 

Tip: Running community groups can be hard work, often with limited resources. Think 
very carefully before setting up a new group - it might be better to link with an existing 
group. Be realistic about what you can achieve - projects usually take more time, energy 
and money than you expect. 

Where to go for more information 

Online resources 

1 . The Department of Internal Affairs - - has information about local 
government services, funding and community advisory services. 

2. CommunityNet Aotearoa - - Online news, guides and 
resources for and by clubs, trusts, hapu and Iwi. The How-to-Guides cover topics such 
as getting started, human resources, campaigning and advocacy and working with 
government agencies. 

3. Managing Well - 
htm - Resources and support to help set up or run a community organisation or project. 
(Also available for download from: 

4. Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (OCVS) - - A wide 
range of information and research relating to the community and voluntary sector in New 
Zealand - the 'Help and information for community groups' section has links. 

5. New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations (NZFVWO) - www. - Information and resources developed by the NZFVWO and links to other 
key sector organisations and networks. 

6. SPARC Club Kit - - The tips and 
resources in the Club Kit are aimed primarily at sports clubs, but they are useful to 
anyone creating and running any form of community group. 

7. Work and Income: Setting up and running a community project - 

www. workandincome. govt. nz/community/setting-up-and-running-a-community-project. 
html - Information to help establish and run community projects to develop people's 
skills and improve job opportunities. 

Community Resource Kit 

Section 1 : Getting started 6 

8. Paul Bullen Management Alternatives for human services - - 
An Australian web-based tool kit developed mainly for small and medium-sized 
community organisations. 

9. Community Sector Taskforce - . Information about what's happening 
in the tangata whenua, community and voluntary sector. 

1 0. Community Outcomes - - Information about 
community outcomes and Long-term Council Community Plans (LTCCPs), as well as 
good-practice resources, tools and guidance for community outcomes processes. 

1 1 . Community Central - - An online space for people 
in tangata whenua, community and voluntary, public health and other organisations to 
work together, share and converse. 

1 2. Statistics New Zealand - - As well as the Non-Profit Institutions 
Satellite Account, Statistics New Zealand has a lot of useful information for community 
groups, drawn from a wide range of statistics. 

Community Resource Kit Section 1 : Getting started 7